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Fairy Christmas, Darling


by Christine Arness

A Cozy Country Christmas by Christine Arness

The Memory Tree
At Christmas, a young mother mourning the loss of their possessions in a fire learns from her children an invaluable lesson on how to start again.

The Most Important Ingredient
Anita is grieving over the fact that her broken wrist won't allow her to continue her favorite holiday tradition of baking cookies for friends and family. Then Anita's two small daughters assure her that she doesn't have only one hand—she has five.

If Wishes Were Horses
When a horse galloped up and stopped at the barn door, eight year old Kim knew her prayers for a horse for Christmas had been answered. But her thoughts go in a very different direction after her mom shares a life changing memory.

Live as in Lively
This live outdoor Nativity turns out a lot "livelier" than the director anticipated.

Let It Snow
An overstressed mother remembers a past when her own mom made every holiday full of fun and joy. At the last moment, she realizes what is truly important and changes directions for the family Christmas Eve party.

One Midnight Clear
While studying a Christmas store window scene, a homesick man is shocked to find himself handcuffed to the woman at his side. As he looks at her small son's guilty face, Tim realizes his life is about to take an unexpected turn.

Star of Bethlehem
A small girl's desire for a Christmas tree is granted by a loving community, bringing hope to her family.

In For a Penny
A couple who believes their marriage is irrevocably broken finds healing, life lessons, and hope during a visit to an eccentric relative.

Breath of God
A Minnesota farm girl in the early 1900's has been forced into a woman's responsibilities. Betsy's struggles to come to terms with her deceased mother's plans for her bring her in conflict with both family and community expectations. Memories of the love between her parents help Betsy make the decisions she needs to face her future.

Piano Christmas
A schoolgirl's sacrifice of a gift from her cherished teacher gives hope to a classmate and also shows her that giving can bless the giver as well.

Pocketful of Love
A grandmother learns that love is never lost when you reach out to others.



 


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Release Date: November 13, 2014
Genre: Holiday Anthology

~ A White Satin Romance ~



Excerpt

Let It Snow

 

“Smile! You love parties.” Nathan put his arm around my waist. “You can dance all night, Sal. That’s why I married you.”

“I thought you married me because I could dance all night, rise at five a.m., sit on a tractor for nine straight hours and still had enough energy left to inoculate a batch of piglets.”

“All I cared about was the dancing.” Humming, Nathan waltzed me around the room.

I let him hold me close, but items from my lengthy “to do” list kept popping into my mind. The living room carpet needed vacuuming and Kyle had spilled cereal in the pantry. Farmland, farm houses and farm kids needed constant upkeep.

Nathan massaged my back. “The house looks great, but you don’t. Relax, hon, this is just a family party. Everyone would be satisfied with hot dogs on paper plates.”

“Well, I’m not! I want this evening to be perfect so the boys will have wonderful memories of a family get-together. I hate to cut this dance short, kind sir, but I have a thousand things to do.”

My partner reluctantly released me. “How about a fire tonight, Sal? Everyone enjoys a crackling blaze.”

“I agree. A fire in the fireplace is warm and welcoming, but it creates ashes and soot. We're having an elegant buffet, not a marshmallow roast.”

“I love marshmallows!” Josiah piped up, beaming.

“We’re not serving marshmallows,” I informed my son crisply and turned to Nathan. “Try to understand, darling. This party is our family tradition and I’m doing my best to make it special. I want the house to look its best.”

My husband gave me a hug and headed off to puzzle over a tractor repair problem, our three sons in tow. I sighed at the thought of the grease and grime connected with such a job—most of which would end up on the kids—and dashed off to attack the remaining items on my list.

I tried not to think about my husband’s comments. I loved Nathan and my three boys dearly, but to me, Christmas wasn’t just gifts and gaiety. The month of December was brimful of cleaning, decorating and baking in preparation for our annual family Christmas Eve party. I prided myself on the tradition of serving excellent food and encouraging lively conversation in a beautifully decorated setting.

But today a strange heaviness weighed me down as I fed the chickens and checked on the yearling colt. My head ached as I twisted cookie dough into candy cane shapes and iced the peppermint-fudge cake. When the boys—three baths and a freshly scrubbed kitchen floor later—started a duel using the branches of greenery I’d arranged on the buffet table, I sent them off to clean their rooms. Again.

Sighing, I massaged my throbbing temples. Was I getting sick?

I had just started to tie red and green ribbon bows around rolled linen napkins when the boys reappeared, bubbling with excitement.

“It’s snowing, Mom!” Ryan exclaimed, nose and hands pressed against the window. He wriggled like a puppy. “Can we go out and play?”

“Please, Mom!” Josiah and Kyle chimed in. “We could build a snow fort. It would be so much fun!”

But I had a party to put on. I didn’t have time for fun. “No! You’ll make a mess and track in snow. Read a book or play a quiet game,” I ordered. “I’ve laid out your good clothes for tonight.”

Their faces fell and they trudged away, shoulders drooping, while I tackled the window Ryan had smeared. At this rate, I’d never be ready for tonight’s festivities.

Before he left, Nathan had tuned the radio to a station playing carols. As I wielded a spray bottle of window cleaner, I heard the beginning strains of “Joy to the World”.

“There’s no joy in our house,” I muttered, feeling woefully unappreciated.

 

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